A Coach’s Self-Initiated Professional Development Across a Ski Season: How Mentorship and Adult Athletes’ Input Supported the Use of Adult-Oriented Coaching Practices


Coaches can use the Adult-Oriented Sport Coaching Survey (AOSCS; Rathwell et al., 2020) to reflect on their psychosocial coaching approaches with Masters athletes (MAs). This study explored how a coach used the AOSCS alongside a mentor for ongoing adult-oriented coach development. Grounded in a pragmatic paradigm, an inductive sequential mixed-method design was used. Across a 10-week season, a Masters alpine ski coach (with 5 years’ experience) worked with a mentor (with 18 years’ experience as an alpine ski coach developer). They met at three timepoints (pre-season, mid-season, post-season) to debrief on the coach’s personal AOSCS scores and the AOSCS scores from their 10 MAs (M = 52.30; 60% male). Debriefs were recorded and a reflexive thematic analysis was performed. Pearson’s correlations tested relationships across timepoints, preferences, and frequencies using MA’s AOSCS scores. Results indicated convergence between use and preferences of coaching, which were reviewed and refined to the strongest nine practices. Significant correlations with large effects (p < .05; r > .63) between MAs’ scores validated the use of the nine AOSCS coaching practices. Debrief result showed the coach used AOSCS scores to reflect on strategies to implement at specific timepoints. At pre-season, the coach created strategies that contextualized MAs’ needs. At mid-season, the coach assessed his performance and created skill development strategies. At post-season, the coach reflected on how his strategies supported his MAs. This study demonstrated how a coach reflected on AOSCS scores and then implemented tangible improvement strategies that were identified by his MAs and himself.